2008 Presidential Election, Race and Racism
Professor Vernellia Randall
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Huckabee wraps self in wrong flag


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1/22/08 Tampa Trib. (Fla.)


Jan. 22‑‑Former Arkansas Gov. Mike   Huckabee  shredded his nice‑guy image with a less‑than‑subtle effort to generate   racial  resentment during the presidential primary campaign in South Carolina last week.

At a campaign stop in Myrtle Beach,   Huckabee  tried to appeal to white Southerners still upset that the Confederate flag was moved from atop the Capitol dome in Columbia after blacks protested the flag had become a symbol of   racism .

"You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," Huckabee told the cheering crowd. "If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole. That's what we'd do."

It was crude and divisive comment that served no purpose other than to inflame emotions about an issue that had been settled. A compromise fashioned in 2000 allows the flag to remain on the statehouse grounds, next to a Confederate soldier memorial.

It is encouraging to see the tactic didn't work. Huckabee finished second to John McCain in Saturday's South Carolina primary.

McCain, during the 2000 presidential primary in South Carolina, tried to skirt the Confederate flag issue, saying it was a matter of states' rights. He later apologized for compromising his principles and said the Confederacy was on "the wrong side of American history." It didn't keep him from winning in South Carolina this time.

Most proud Southerners know the nation needs leaders who will bring people together to face the future, not use the past to tear people apart.


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Huckabee, Immigrations and Invisible Racial Politics ] [ Huckabee wraps self in wrong flag ] Huckabee Asked to Renounce Endorsement by Minuteman ]
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